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Fried chicken, collard greens and mac and cheese at Pearl's Place
Fried chicken, collard greens and mac and cheese at Pearl's Place
Pearl's Place

11 Great Soul Food Restaurants in Chicago to Try Right Now

Where to find delicious smothered meats, collard greens, peach cobbler and much more

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Fried chicken, collard greens and mac and cheese at Pearl's Place
| Pearl's Place

Although Chicago is a city that boasts Michelin recognition in nearly every neighborhood, sometimes the most simple and heartwarming dishes provide the most satisfaction. Soul food — which doesn't always get accolades or stars — is just that.

Soul food takes you home with nourishment that's made more with the heart€” and less with the mind. Food that reminds you of the kitchen you grew up in. Sautéed, baked, boiled, and fried, from snout to tail and root to leaf €— soul food uses everything from end to end and in between, all while making it delicious. You won't find molecular gastronomy or dishes that have been prepared using state of the art kitchen devices at any one of these soul food staples. Just good food, like grandma used to make. Listed in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 5 Loaves Eatery

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405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 891-2889
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With an emphasis on home cooking and hospitality, this Greater Grand Crossing restaurant serves up classic neighborhood favorites like the turkey burger and southern fried chicken. They especially shine on Sundays, where they dedicate the menu and service to soul food and classic soul food staples like candied yams, garlic mash, cabbage and livers.

2. 6978 Soul Food

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6978 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60707
(773) 237-6090
Home cooked goodness with a rotating menu that changes as often as daily, this Galewood hole-in-the-wall gem offers all of the standard soul food fanfare – collard greens, fried fish, banana pudding and plenty of smothered meats. They do happy hour drink specials on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

3. Coco's Famous Fried Lobster

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426 S Clark St
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 786-2070
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This popular Loop soul food destination calls itself the best soul food in downtown Chicago. Heralded for their sides that include sautéed greens and such, they are mostly famous for their namesake — fried lobster. The portions are large and they have daily soul food specials that include smothered steaks and chops.

4. Dan's Soul Food

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2523 W 79th St
Chicago, IL 60652
(773) 737-6695
A Southern comforts joint on the South Side in the Ashburn neighborhood that offers Thanksgiving dinner every day. A wide variety of traditional favorites are available daily, such as meatloaf, pot roast and red beans and rice and cornbread. Dan’s is the place to check out if you’re looking for holiday dinners any time of the year.

5. Daley's Restaurant

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809 E 63rd St
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 643-6670
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Since 1892, Daley’s has been serving a little bit of everything to the Woodlawn neighborhood. Their constantly expanding menu features many soul food favorites like their homemade peach cobbler and new favorites like the chicken and waffles. With over 120 years under their belt, you’ll taste why they leave a lasting impression.

6. Granny B's

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2632 W 71st St
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 925-4491
What was once a Lithuanian neighborhood in Chicago Lawn is where you’ll find Granny B’s. This unassuming soul food restaurant is small and quaint, but adored by the locals. Aside from the standard soul food dishes you’re used to, Granny B’s goes the extra mile and surprises you with salmon specials like the croquettes.

7. Johnna's Cafe

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520 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 733-8460
Tri-Taylor isn’t the first neighborhood you’d think of when wanting to check out some of the best home-cooked meals in Chicago. Surprisingly though, it’s worth making the trip to the area if you’re in need of mac and cheese with fried chicken and greens. This is exactly the way you’d expect any auntie would unleash at a family gathering.

8. Morrison's

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8127 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 892-1078
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Part BBQ, but all soul. Lines are often long at this Auburn-Gresham staple. Like many southern soul food places, they have a rotating daily menu that’s soul food savvy. You’ll find more adventurous items on the menu here; chitterlings, succotash, and ham hocks. They’ve been serving and catering for nearly 40 years and still continue strong.

9. New Look

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2546 E 83rd St
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 978-6511
No pork, but you can have all the smothered chicken and mimosas your heart desires. A bit unconventional compared to your typical soul food places because this particular joint has an attached bar with open mic nights. You get to enjoyed home-cooked meals while listening to drunk uncles tell bad jokes.

10. Pearl's Place

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3901 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 285-1000
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This Bronzeville gem is home to many diners who love home-style cooking. One of the very few places that offer soul food buffets on weekdays and weekends, along-side their classic al-a-carte dishes. Desserts are made in house daily and you can get a variety of items that range from southern style shrimp and grits to fried green tomatoes.

11. Soul Vegetarian East

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205 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 451-9796
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Soul food isn’t always about meat off the bone and smothered steaks. Head to the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and you’ll vegetarian soul food that is good for any carnivore. Aside from being incredibly green, Soul Vegetarian East presents a menu completely free of refined flour and sugar. Check out this very health conscious approach to soul food.

1. 5 Loaves Eatery

405 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619
With an emphasis on home cooking and hospitality, this Greater Grand Crossing restaurant serves up classic neighborhood favorites like the turkey burger and southern fried chicken. They especially shine on Sundays, where they dedicate the menu and service to soul food and classic soul food staples like candied yams, garlic mash, cabbage and livers.
405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

2. 6978 Soul Food

6978 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60707
Home cooked goodness with a rotating menu that changes as often as daily, this Galewood hole-in-the-wall gem offers all of the standard soul food fanfare – collard greens, fried fish, banana pudding and plenty of smothered meats. They do happy hour drink specials on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
6978 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60707

3. Coco's Famous Fried Lobster

426 S Clark St, Chicago, IL 60605
This popular Loop soul food destination calls itself the best soul food in downtown Chicago. Heralded for their sides that include sautéed greens and such, they are mostly famous for their namesake — fried lobster. The portions are large and they have daily soul food specials that include smothered steaks and chops.
426 S Clark St
Chicago, IL 60605

4. Dan's Soul Food

2523 W 79th St, Chicago, IL 60652
A Southern comforts joint on the South Side in the Ashburn neighborhood that offers Thanksgiving dinner every day. A wide variety of traditional favorites are available daily, such as meatloaf, pot roast and red beans and rice and cornbread. Dan’s is the place to check out if you’re looking for holiday dinners any time of the year.
2523 W 79th St
Chicago, IL 60652

5. Daley's Restaurant

809 E 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60637
Since 1892, Daley’s has been serving a little bit of everything to the Woodlawn neighborhood. Their constantly expanding menu features many soul food favorites like their homemade peach cobbler and new favorites like the chicken and waffles. With over 120 years under their belt, you’ll taste why they leave a lasting impression.
809 E 63rd St
Chicago, IL 60637

6. Granny B's

2632 W 71st St, Chicago, IL 60629
What was once a Lithuanian neighborhood in Chicago Lawn is where you’ll find Granny B’s. This unassuming soul food restaurant is small and quaint, but adored by the locals. Aside from the standard soul food dishes you’re used to, Granny B’s goes the extra mile and surprises you with salmon specials like the croquettes.
2632 W 71st St
Chicago, IL 60629

7. Johnna's Cafe

520 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
Tri-Taylor isn’t the first neighborhood you’d think of when wanting to check out some of the best home-cooked meals in Chicago. Surprisingly though, it’s worth making the trip to the area if you’re in need of mac and cheese with fried chicken and greens. This is exactly the way you’d expect any auntie would unleash at a family gathering.
520 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60612

8. Morrison's

8127 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60620
Part BBQ, but all soul. Lines are often long at this Auburn-Gresham staple. Like many southern soul food places, they have a rotating daily menu that’s soul food savvy. You’ll find more adventurous items on the menu here; chitterlings, succotash, and ham hocks. They’ve been serving and catering for nearly 40 years and still continue strong.
8127 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60620

9. New Look

2546 E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60617
No pork, but you can have all the smothered chicken and mimosas your heart desires. A bit unconventional compared to your typical soul food places because this particular joint has an attached bar with open mic nights. You get to enjoyed home-cooked meals while listening to drunk uncles tell bad jokes.
2546 E 83rd St
Chicago, IL 60617

10. Pearl's Place

3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
This Bronzeville gem is home to many diners who love home-style cooking. One of the very few places that offer soul food buffets on weekdays and weekends, along-side their classic al-a-carte dishes. Desserts are made in house daily and you can get a variety of items that range from southern style shrimp and grits to fried green tomatoes.
3901 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

11. Soul Vegetarian East

205 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619
Soul food isn’t always about meat off the bone and smothered steaks. Head to the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and you’ll vegetarian soul food that is good for any carnivore. Aside from being incredibly green, Soul Vegetarian East presents a menu completely free of refined flour and sugar. Check out this very health conscious approach to soul food.
205 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

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